Kenny Schimpf possesses what is a relative luxury in the sport of soccer both size and skill on the playing field.
The junior midfielder, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, is one of a talented group of returners for Watertowns boys soccer team.
Schimpf is not only highly skilled, particularly with his free and corner kicks, he also provides a solid physical presence in the middle of the field.
That is definitely a rare quality, Watertown coach Todd Heckman said. Kenny is a very balanced player for us.
Known for his accurate and sometimes long-distance kicks that curl and angle in toward the oppositions net, Schimpf paced the Cyclones in goals last season with nine and finished tied in points (9-3-21) with junior Tyrell Thomas (7-7-21).
Physically (Kennys) a big, strong presence in the middle of the field, Heckman said. He can shield the ball well, he wins 50-50 balls in the middle. But also, he can get out of pressure with his foot skills and his technical ability.
Free kicks are probably the best part of soccer, Schimpf said. I actually have a goal in my backyard that I go home and practice on and Im down here on the turf practicing as well.
Last year as a sophomore, Schimpf helped lead Watertown to the A Division championship in the regular season and the playoffs.
Hes a very good leader on the field, both physically and verbally, Heckman said. He has a great understanding of the game.
I play in the midfield, but I see myself as more of a defensive player, Schimpf said. More of a defensive midfielder. But mostly, Im trying to find our forwards feet with passes so they can turn, shoot and score.
While Schimpf spent a good deal of his time last season on restarts by setting up his teammates with scoring opportunities, this year his offensive role will be a bit different. Hell have the chance to show off his scoring skills while hes positioned closer to the goal.
Hes going to be on the finishing end, Heckman said. So it will be fun to see what he can do there.
Schimpf is returning for his third year as a varsity starter along with Thomas and junior goalkeeper Noah Taylor and senior forward Brad McKinney (6-5-17) is back for his fourth varsity campaign.
In all, the Cyclones return 10 players this season, including eight starters with twin brothers and seniors Christian and Collin Jorden back to anchor the defense along with senior L.J. White, and senior Matt Olney (7-1-15) returning to start at forward.
Everyones working really hard and coach is pressing us really hard, Schimpf said. Were looking forward to the season and just continuing what weve been doing the last couple years.
Even with playing two other varsity sports as a forward or center in basketball and a pitcher and center fielder in baseball Schimpf finds time to play soccer year round.
Its exhilarating, Schimpf said of soccer, which he plays for N.Y. Soccer Central in Syracuse the rest of the year. When you get on the field after a warm up and its right before kickoff, its just exhilarating. Theres no other way to describe it.
He tests his skills in various tournaments throughout the East Coast, Heckman said. He won the State Cup with Syracuse and his team went on to regionals. Kenny is just a very well-rounded player and system.
This season the Cyclones have their sights set even higher. They were eliminated the past two years in the sectional play by one-goal margins, but arent looking past their A Division foes.
Were playing in another tough division again, you can never count anyone out, Schimpf said. Im friends with a lot of kids on Indian River, but when we step on the field our friendship is gone for 80 minutes.
Soccer is truly Schimpfs primary athletic endeavor and he credits his parents for his success.
I love playing sports at Watertown and the competition, Schimpf said. But soccer is just something I love, and I just dont think I could go without ... you feel like youre on a totally different planet when you step on a soccer field. It feels like all your outside problems are just gone, and youre just there to do one thing which is to play soccer and enjoy it.
Heres a look at boys soccer in the Frontier League:
Outlook: Watertown looks to again repeat as A Division champion. The Cyclone roster is made up of entirely upperclassmen, including six seniors. Indian River has made inroads in recent seasons and return 10 players, including the nucleus from a 2012 team, which won 12 games and finished in second place in the division. This group include 11 juniors, including the scoring tandem of Junior Malinoski and Erick Torres, midfielders Tyler Cook and Kyle Smith, with seniors Ben Godin and Kyle Barker anchoring the defense. Immaculate Heart Central returns 14 players, including nine seniors from a team, which finished third in the division last year and made a postseason run to reach the Class D-1 sectional final, where it was edged by Poland. The Cavaliers top six scorers in 2012 are back, including Chris Rowland (14-14-42), Jude Fusili (13-2-28) and JP McClusky (10-2-22), also return midfielder Matt Guyette and the heart of the defense, led by Pat Gefell as well as goalie Jarrod Smith. Carthage, which finished fourth last year, was .500 in the league and will search for a scoring spark this year after the graduation of its top two scorers.
Coach: Rich Lajoie (2nd year).
2012 record: 7-9-0, 6-6-0.
Players to watch: Tyler Clemons, Corey Dockery, Nate Kepler, Devon Lajoie, Brodie Woodward, Jacob Zehr.
Roster: Cody Campany (Sr., M), Tyler Clemons (Sr., D), Alex Gillette (Sr., D), Sam Kim (Sr., M), Brodie Woodward (Sr., D), Travis Workman (Sr., D), Jacob Zehr (Sr., M), Yilmaz Ates (Jr., G), Chris DeRonda (Jr., M); Corey Dockery (Jr., F); Tyler Dora (Jr., M/D), Kevin Gregory (Jr., D), Kyle Hall (Jr., D), Brett Hoffman (Jr., M), Rafael Rondon (Jr., F), Eric Rounds (Jr., F), Austin Schwartz (Jr., M), Jordan Shavit (Jr., D), Nate Kepler (So., F), Devon Lajoie (So., M), Kengo Watai (So., G).
Immaculate Heart Central Cavaliers
Coach: Mary Guyette (4th year).
2012 record: 11-7-0, 7-5-0.
Players to watch: Jude Fusilli, Pat Gefell, Matt Guyette, JP McClusky, Chris Rowland.
Roster: Justin Frechette (Sr., F), Jude Fusilli (Sr., F), Matt Guyette (Sr., M), Pat Gefell (Sr., D), Philip Moots (Sr., M), Jared Pignone (Sr., D), Austin Renzi (Sr., D), Jason Reape (Sr., M/D), Chris Rowland (Sr., F/M), JP McClusky (Jr., D/M), Jarrod Smith (Jr., G), Zachary Frechette (So., F/M), Jake Fusilli (So., F/M), Jack Whalen (So., M), Tyler Cooper (Fr., F).
Indian River Warriors
Coach: Fred LaVancha (7th year).
2012 record: 12-6-0, 9-3-0.
Players to watch: Tyler Cook, Ben Godin, Junior Malinoski, Kyle Smith, Erick Torres.
Roster: Danny Angelo (Sr., D), Kyle Barker (Sr., D), Ben Godin (Sr., M), Josh Ross (Sr., M), Tylor Turner (Sr., F), Tyler Cook (Jr., M), Andrew Davis (Jr., F), William Eichner (Jr., D), Blaine Fitzgerald (Jr., D), Junior Malinoski (Jr., F), Patrick Morris (Jr., F), Logan Prudhomme (Jr., D), Kyle Smith (Jr., M), Marley Teague (Jr., M), Erick Torres (Jr., F), Daverick Wagstaff (Jr., D), Hunter Mullican (So., G), Ty Godin (Fr., M).
Coach: Todd Heckman (7th year).
2012 record: 14-2-1, 11-0-1.
Players to watch: Christian Jorden, Collin Jorden, Brad McKinney, Kenny Schimpf, Noah Taylor, Tyrell Thomas.
Roster: Brad McKinney (Sr., F), Christian Jorden (Sr., D), Collin Jorden (Sr., D), Matt Olney (Sr., F), Tim Peters (Sr., M), L.J. White (Sr., D), Josh Askins (Jr., M), Joe Freda (Jr., M), Eric Gibbs (Jr., M), Marvin Henriquez (Jr., F), Nate Hill (Jr., M), Marcus Lavarnway (Jr., D), Nick Long (Jr., M), John Matthison (Jr., M), Mina Rezkallah (Jr., F), Daniel Olney (Jr., M), David Olney (Jr., M), Jon Reardon (Jr., D), David VanEenenaam (Jr., D), Kenny Schimpf (Jr., M), Will Sanzone (Jr., M), Noah Taylor (Jr., G), Tyrell Thomas (Jr., F),
Outlook: Lowville rejoins the division this year, after winning the C Division title last season. South Jefferson, the defending B Division champion, has a new varsity coach in Harry Powers. The Spartans are laden with 11 upperclassmen, including three seniors, but the team is really young and did lose its top three scorers as well as its starting goalie to graduation. After seven players graduated, Lowville will look to rely upon our fitness, and some strong upcoming underclassmen to buoy us as we return to the B Division. With no go-to player, the Red Raiders will strive to play team soccer, by controlling the ball and dictating the pace of the game. General Brown looks to improve on a five-win 2012 campaign with a host of upperclassmen, including 13 juniors and two seniors. Sandy Creek/Pulaski hopes to rebound from a winless season under new head coach Scott Olson.
General Brown Lions
Coach: Phil Jenner (11th year).
2012 record: 5-10-2, 5-9-2.
Players to watch:Ryan Lamon.
Roster: Connor (Bero (Sr., F), Ryan Lamon (Sr., G/F), Mark Augliano (Jr., M), Mark Corey (Jr., D), Bryce Fazio (Jr., F), Trevor Hickok (Jr., M), Cole Johnson (Jr., M), Zack Kirksey (Jr., F), Alex Martinez (Jr., M), Ryan Sheridan (Jr., M), Mike Shephard (Jr., M), Alec Smith (Jr., D), David Vodicka (Jr., M), Shawn Wilcox (Jr., M), Chris Yarnell (Jr., D), Kevin Durdon (So., D).
Lowville Red Raiders
Coach:Nick Matuszczak (2nd year).
2012 record: 12-4-2, 11-2-2.
Players to watch: Colin Farquhar, Dalton Jones, Dylan Roes, Ryan Wood.
Roster: Colin Farquhar (Sr.), Zach Hardy (Sr.), Dylan Roes (Sr.), Dylan Smith (Sr.), Colin Stewart (Sr.), Melvin Zehr (Sr.), Tyler Birchenough (Jr.), Taran Bush (Jr.), Ian Collins (Jr.), Darren Ortlieb (Jr.), Dalton Jones (So.), Nate Mooney (So.), Ryan Wood (So.), Issac Worrall (So.), Caden Laribee (Fr.).
Coach: Steve Olson (1st year).
2012 record: 0-16-0, 0-16-0.
Players to watch: James Flower, Reis Harding, Leo Phillips, Corey Reff.
Roster: Dylan Anthony (Sr., F/M), Will Delgado (Sr., F/M), Tyler Manzano (Sr., F/M), Leo Marino (Sr., F/M), Jake Nicholson (Sr., F/M), Mike Pappa (Sr., F/M), Corey Reff (Sr., G/D), Craig Gibbons (Jr., D), Reis Harding (Jr., M), Jay Ivison (Sr., D/M), Josh Meizlik (Jr., G/M), Nick Peters (Jr., F), Dallas Ashby (So., M), James Flower (So., F/M), Andrew Lapp (So., D/M), Mason Larue (So., D/M), Leo Phillips (So., F/M), Colin Reff (So., F/M).
South Jefferson Spartans
Coach:Harry Powers (1st year).
2012 record: 10-6-2, 9-5-2.
Players to watch: Benner Geurtsen, Phil Isberner, Jayson Kellogg, Brad LaLone, Ethan Smith.
Roster: Phil Isberner (Sr., D), Jayson Kellogg (Sr., F), Brad LaLone (Sr., M), Tyler Bulger (Jr., D), Dylan Estal (Jr., D), Benner Geurtsen (Jr., M), Pete Lumley (Jr., G), Thomas Pratt (Jr.), Scott Richardson (Jr.), Ethan Smith (Jr., F), Nick Snyder (Jr., M), Tristan Tyo (Jr., F), Tim Bodah (So., D), Conlan Hartshorn (So., D), Mitchell Keegan (So., M), Josh Sullivan (So., F), Chris Williams (So., D), Nate Smith (Fr., D).
Outlook: With Lowville now in B and with South Lewis not fielding a varsity team, the Frontier Leagues C is comprised of only two teams. According to the Frontier League they are the C Division will still play for the C Division title. Thousand Islands, which finished in second place in the division last year, returns six seniors, including forward Luke Smith. The Vikings will look for leadership from both Smith and senior goalie Sam Ada to anchor down a young defense. Beaver River looks to better a four-win 2012 season, led by Jose Interiano and Riley Joslin in the midfield and Dylan Terry up front.
Beaver River Beavers
Coach:Tom Dunckel (2nd year).
2012 record:4-9-2, 4-9-2.
Players to watch: Jose Interiano, Riley Joslin, Dylan Terry.
Roster: Cordel Brouty (Sr., M), Jared Fullin (Sr., D), Nick Mattimore (Sr., D), Shaun Malbeauf (Sr., D), David Merry (Sr., F), William Shambo (Sr., G), Jake Yousey (Sr., F), Hunter Glenn (Jr., F), Jose Interiano (Jr., M), Deion Jones (Jr., D), Riley Joslin (Jr., M), Joel Kloster (Jr., D), Ryan Davis (So., D), Joey Harrison (So., F), Jaylen Jantzi (So., D), Matt Kilionski (So., F), Luke Moser (So., F), Cody Schermerhorn (So., G), Dylan Terry (So., F), Anthony Metzler (Fr., M).
Thousand Islands Vikings
Coach:Shannon Amo (14th year).
2012 record: 11-5-2, 9-4-1.
Players to watch: Sam Ada, Luke Smith.
Roster:Sam Ada (Sr.), Luke Smith (Sr.), Eli Baldwin (Jr.), Tiger Chapman (Jr.), Tanner Docteur (Jr.), Jashua Glasenapp (Jr.), Theron Grenier (Jr.), Austin Matthews (Jr.), Nick Nevela (Jr.), Christian Shaw (Jr.), Dan Swartz (Jr.), Travis Docteur (So.), Austin Marshall (So.), Zach Mason (So.), Dylan Wiley (So.), Ethan Clement (Fr.), Noah Ingerson (Fr.), Riley Youngs (Fr.), Tim Filiatrault (8th Gr.), Kellen Flanders (8th Gr.).
Outlook: Junior-laden Copenhagen will look to defend both its regular-season and playoff divisional crown. The Golden Knights, who defeated then defending champ Alexandria in the D final and went on to reach the semifinal round in sectionals, graduated nine seniors, but return six starters for the season. Copenhagen has plenty of firepower with Antonio Figueroa along with Breven Jacobs and Brenden Jacobs, three of 11 juniors, but still has some holes on the defensive side of the ball. Lyme returns its entire roster from a squad that reached the sectional semifinal round before bowing out in double overtime to eventual state champion Old Forge. Seniors Mark Parker (12-11-35) and Troy Wilson (10-13-33) led the Indians in scoring, while senior Timmy Morrow and sophomore Tanner Wiley return to lead the team defensively, along with senior keeper Christian Sanford. Alexandria, the 2011 division champ that finished runner-up to Copenhagen in both the division and playoffs last year, are young and rebuilding and will look to move ahead after losing the programs all-time leading scorer and Times FL MVP Ian Kearns to graduation. Sackets Harbor will look to improve on a fourth-place finish in the division in 2012 and has 10 of 16 players returning, including leading scorer and senior Ethan Dillabough (10-5-25). LaFargevilles roster includes 10 upperclassmen, six of which are seniors, as the Red Knights look to better last years record. Belleville Henderson will field a young and inexperienced team that will attempt to break into the win column this year and hope to compete for a playoff spot.
Alexandria Purple Ghosts
Coach: Robert Bastian (10th year).
2012 record: 11-5-1, 10-3-1.
Players to watch: Cameron Morgan, Nick Shangraw, Jordan VanBrocklin.
Roster: Miles Bartlett (Sr.), Christopher Carrasquillo (Sr.), Raymond Dickhaut (Sr.), Colby Hunter (Sr., G), Jacob ODay (Sr.), Nick Shangraw (Sr.), Jordan VanBrocklin (Sr.), Anthony Bennett (Jr., K), Ryan Charlebois (Jr.), Brodix Gill (Jr.), Cameron Morgan (Jr.), Tristan Thomson (Jr.), Matt Bass (So.), Mason Davis (So.), Daniel Gionet (So.), Zakariya Imdad (So.), Dylan Kernehan (So.), Trenton Service (So.), Ryan Tebo (So.), Daegan Jeffers (Fr.), Kyle Gionet (8th Gr.).
Belleville Henderson Panthers
Coach: Ron Whitney (3rd year).
2012 record: 0-13-1, 0-13-1.
Players to watch: Tyler Bast, Matt Corron, Tom Desomeau, Brendan Moore.
Roster:Tyler Bast (Sr.), Thurman Babcock (Sr.), Matt Corron (Jr.), Tyler David (Jr.), Tom Desomeau (Jr.), Chris Hernander (Jr.), Brendan Moore (Jr.), Nick Neddo (Jr.), Hayden Peterson (Jr.), Brandon Dahl (So.), Caden Durham (So.), Eli Merced (So.), Hunter Benjamin (Fr.), Colin Cross (Fr.),
Copenhagen Golden Knights
Coach:Scott Randall (5th year).
2012 record: 15-2-1, 12-1-1.
Players to watch:Travis Clarke, Connor Eddy, Antonio Figueroa, Brenden Jacobs, Breven Jacobs, Greg Kunert.
Roster: Travis Clarke (Sr., D/M), Greg Kunert (Sr., F/M), Kevin Carroll (Jr., G), Antonio Figueroa (Jr., D/M), Caleb Hatch (Jr., D), Brenden Jacobs (Jr., M), Breven Jacobs (Jr., M), Cody Moser (Jr., M), Mirzofirdavs Sanginov (Jr., D), Josh Snyder (Jr., D), Garrett Munden (Jr., M), Ian Sawyer (Jr., F), Sam Williams (Jr., D), Brandon Buckley (So., M), Connor Eddy (So., M), Robbie Groff (So., M), Cody Buckley (8th Gr., F).
LaFargeville Red Knights
Co-Coaches: Dan Staie (11th year) and Robert Switzer (8th year).
2012 record: 3-10-1, 3-10-1.
Players to watch: Matt Barton, Joshua Baughn, Hunter Sammons.
Roster:Matt Barton (Sr.), Joshua Baughn (Sr.), Gavin Davidson (Sr.), Will Foisy (Sr.), Merrick McMurphy (Sr.), Kelly Ryan (Sr.), Colten Denny (Jr.), Hunter Sammons (Jr.), Hunter Soluri (Jr.), Daniel Woodburn (Jr.), Hunter Ainsworth (So.), Noah Casler (So.), Devon Chapman (So.), Austin Davis (So.), Ethan Forbes (So.), Andrew Gray (So.), Ethan Johnson (So.), Brandon Nutting (So.), Thomas ODriscoll (So.), Mike Wells (So.), Peyton Morse (Fr.), Brody Price (8th Gr.).
Coach: Scott Radley (17th year).
2012 record: 10-7-0, 9-5-0.
Players to watch: Timmy Morrow, Mark Parker, Caden Sanford, Sam Liakhovitch, Christian Sanford, Tanner Wiley, Troy Wilson.
Roster:Nick Birchenough (Sr., M), Jared Donaldson (Sr., D), Sam Liakhovitch (Sr., M/F), Donovan Marchiony (Sr., M), Timmy Morrow (Sr., D), Mark Parker (Sr., M/F), Christian Sanford (Sr., G), Forest Stafford (Sr., D), Troy Wilson (Sr., F/D), Tyler Davis (Jr., M), Ivan Liakhovitch (Jr., M), Austin Lennox (Jr., M/F), Joe Paladino (Jr., M), Riley Schwind (Jr., G/M), Joshua Kimball (So., M/S), Cody Lothrop (So., D), Caden Sanford (So., F), Patrick Thompson (So., D/M), Hunter Townsend (So., M), Tristen Walker (So., M/F), Tanner Wiley (So., F/M/D).
Sackets Harbor Patriots
Coach: Chelsea Nohle (2nd year).
2012 record: 5-9-2, 5-7-2.
Players to watch: Ryan Allen, Ethan Dillabough, Brian Elliot, Josh Keruski.
Roster:Vinny Augliano (Sr., F), Ethan Dillabough (Sr., F), Brian Elliot (Sr., D), Gabe Fedorko (Sr., D), Josh Keruski (Sr., M), Seth Phillips (Sr., M), Kyle Roy (Sr., D), Ryan Allen (Jr., M), Colton Belcher (Jr., D), Eric Chrostowski (Jr., F), Matthew Stackel (Jr., M), Kyle Gonseth (So., D), Shea Lynch (So., M), Craig Osbourne (So., M), Alex Keegan (Fr., F/G), Caleb Nans (Fr., D).